The appointment of Shavendra Silva as chief of staff of the Sri Lankan army “is a staggering affront to the international community,” said the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) , who called on the international community to exercise universal jurisdiction against those accused of crimes.
“If anyone took the Supreme Court’s actions last month as proof that Sri Lanka could investigate itself for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the State, the appointment of Major General Silva--one of the men most responsible for these heinous and inhumane crimes--proves that idea null and void” said Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, prime minister of the TGTE.
“Among a long list of reasons why we need international investigation and prosecution to achieve justice, consider that Major General Silva, according to the UN’s own reports, is responsible for the exclusion of any international presence in the Vanni during the final stage of the conflict. This was a calculated move intended to facilitate the Tamil Genocide. The same was done in Rwanda. It’s a tactic that’s been employed elsewhere before atrocity crimes were committed,” he added.
“This appointment is a staggering affront to the international community, especially the United Nations Human Rights Council, which worked with Sri Lanka exhaustively and in good-faith for years to devise a plan of action to make peace, reconciliation, and accountability in Sri Lanka a reality. Instead, both have been served a platter of betrayal,” said Rudrakumaran.
“The UNHRC already granted Sri Lanka a two-year extension to fulfill its obligations. That expires this year. Also this year, Sri Lanka is up for UNHRC review. TGTE calls on the UNHRC to interrogate Sri Lanka on Major General Silva's appointment as a sign of the State's repudiation of its obligations, deny Sri Lanka any more time extensions—as it has already failed the international community enough—and to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
“The appointment of Major General Silva not only signals a likely death for the peace, and justice process, but it also further increases the very real threat to the lives of Tamils,” said Mr. Rudrakumaran. “TGTE calls on the international community to stay vigilant to this enhanced threat, and to exercise universal jurisdiction if Major General Silva—or any of the individuals responsible for the Tamil Genocide—ever sets foot on their soil.”
See the full text of the TGTE press release here.